Friday, August 1, 2008


I hardly know what to think of this, whether to laugh or to cry.

A peace agreement with Syria is within reach, according to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's envoys to talks with Syria, who returned from another round of indirect negotiations in Turkey and were quoted in a Ma'ariv report Friday.

According to the report, the sides have already formulated a sketch of a peace deal and have told the Turkish mediators that they are willing to pay the price, which, for the Syrians, would include cutting off Iran.

The Jerusalem Post could not confirm the report.

Of course it couldn't. The "report" is absurd, even if true, which would not be to say that Syria has any intention of living up to such an agreement, just that they have pretended they will. Ridiculous on its face but not nearly as ridiculous as anyone believing it. The Post goes on to say as much. Well, not exactly.

According to the report, there was no way to directly prevent Syria from having ties with Iran. The agreement could, however, forbid Damascus from providing weapons to - or harboring representatives of - nations or organizations that threaten Israel.

The report quoted officials familiar with the negotiations as saying that the Syrians had expressed their awareness of Israel's demand and did not reject it.

The officials also said that talks with Israel had already exacted a price from Syrian President Bashar Assad in terms of his relationship with Teheran.

Yes, I expect that Ahmedinejad has cracked a rib or two from laughing so hard. As if Assad really has any choice in the matter.

I guess the most interesting question is who or what is behind this rather pathetic disinformation campaign. It's not a tough guess. Soccer Dad has analyzed the hysteria in Washington generated by Olmert's not-imminent-enough departure: it's all about the danger to the "peace process," stupid. And, yes, it's very disturbing. More clues here.

Olmert, for all his political prowess, is a whiney little baby and he may just try to give as much of his country away as he can before he leaves office, partly as a payback for being treated so unfairly and partly because (I suspect) he labors under the illusion that history will reward him for it. And at this point he is simply desperate for glory. In the stands cheering wildly, of course, will be the U.S. State Department, which seems more Clintonesque every day.

God save and protect Israel from lame ducks everywhere.

Shabbat Shalom.